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Pag-asa, first Philippine eagle bred in captivity, dies –conservationists

Pag-asa, a 28-year-old Philippine eagle and the first bred and hatched in captivity, has died, the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) announced Friday.

According to PEF, Pag-asa succumbed to infections associated with Trichomoniasis and Aspergillosis, both of which are fatal to raptors, at 8:03 p.m. on Wednesday, January 6.

Though treatment on the eagle began over a week ago, Pag-asa’s condition continued to deteriorate. He would have turned 29-years-old on January 15.

PEF said Pag-asa was the first Philippine eagle bred and hatched in captivity using the cooperative artificial insemination (CAI) techniques.

“Pag-asa’s birth- the culmination of 14 years worth of research, heralded hope for the critically endangered species and the entire conservation mission,” it said in a statement.

The Philippine eagle was listed by the International Union of Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) as one of the country’s threatened birds due to loss of habitat.

Later, Pag-asa’s first offspring hatched on February 9, 2013.

“[T]he PEF reached yet another milestone with Pag-asa in the form of his first and only offspring. She was named Mabuhay and was also bred and hatched through CAI,” it said.

“Even after he retired from breeding, Pag-asa lived his life as an icon of hope for Filipinos, young and old, and was a constant inspiration to the people working tirelessly to save our National Bird from extinction… Pag-asa was gone too soon indeed, but his legacy lives on,” it added. — DVM, GMA News